After the Prophet

After the Prophet

The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

Book - 2009
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Narrative history at its most compelling,After the Prophetallows readers to grasp the power and depth of the Shia-Sunni split as never before. Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would succeed him as the ruler of the Muslim people had begun. And as Lesley Hazleton shows in her gripping historyAfter the Prophet, the battle has never ended. This is the foundation story of the Shia-Sunni split in Islam, a magnificent tale of power, intrigue, assassination, and passionate faith. Starting in Arabia in the year 632 and reaching its terrible breaking point fifty years later in Iraq, it still shapes modern headlines from Iran's Islamic Revolution to the Iraq civil war. The succession crisis set Muhammad's son-in-law, the philosopher-warrior Ali, in opposition to the controversial Aisha, Muhammad's favorite wife. She would defy all expectations by leading an army against Ali, urging on her warriors in the thick of battle. The ultimate breaking point came when soldiers of the first Sunni dynasty massacred seventy-two warriors led by Ali's son, Hussein, at Karbala in Iraq, forging the Shia-Sunni split in blood. Hussein's ordeal would quickly become the Passion story at the core of Shia Islam, and history would be transformed into sacred history. Balancing past and present, Lesley Hazleton shows how this story is alive in Middle Eastern hearts and minds today, as though it had just happened. Even as she tells what happened in the seventh century, she never lets the reader lose sight of where those events have left us, and why they matter so much now as the struggle for dominance in the Muslim world plays out in the cities and mountains of Iraq and Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Placed squarely at the volatile intersection of religion and politics, history and current events, the vividly narratedAfter the Prophetis compulsive reading-and an emotional and political revelation for Western readers. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385523936
0385523939
Characteristics: 239 p. : map ; 25 cm.

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Hopalong_Kid
Oct 25, 2017

Essential information. Every American should understand the Shia-Sunni divide as the US has been spending trillions of dollars (and hundreds of American lives) in the Middle East to perpetuate this perennial feud.

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Fairestwood
Aug 22, 2017

This is a more in detail account of the beginnings of the Shia-Sunni rift and why it continues to this day including landmarks and observances. I especially liked Jonathan Raban's favorable review of the book, included on the book cover, with his contempt for the architects of the war in Iraq. I gave this book 3 stars because the writing style drifted with descriptive anecdotes and "what ifs". Better references than her other book "The First Muslim".

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sdevjee
Mar 17, 2012

The book gives a fresh pespective on the topic, very well written. The characters become human and one can understand why things turned out the way it did.

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